It has been a discussion for decades, is the cost of fighting marijuana use worth the cost to tax payers and society? Like all drugs there are health effects to the people using Marijuana and those having to be around the smoke. Unlike other drugs marijuana seems to render its users well, useless. The long debates over legalizing marijuana have ebbed and flowed from not legalizing because it’s a gateway drug to legalizing to make it less desirable and of course the tax revenue it would bring in. Colorado and Washington both decided to legalize marijuana for recreational use and the country has been engrossed in how it will play out. As long as the government stands firm on marijuana being an illegal substance the only people that win are the users. Let’s explore why legalizing marijuana is not such a good idea.
Some states believe that legalizing marijuana will lower cost in the legislative branch of local, state, and even federal levels. States could greatly favor legalizing marijuana as the majority of criminal prosecution and housing falls on the state with very few marijuana cases going all the way to the federal level. It would be easy to see why a state would be more the happy to legalize marijuana as the cost of enforcing anti-marijuana laws go down and tax revenue goes up. According to marijuana-statistics.com “There were a total of 1,846,351 state and local arrests for drug abuse violations in the United States during 2005. Of the drug arrests, 4.9% were for marijuana sale/manufacturing and 37.7% were for marijuana possession.” (marijuana-statistics.com) This tells me that 37.7% of these arrests would already be eliminated from state cost with legalization. The other 4.9% would become potential revenue for the state from taxes. Of course this is assuming that to 4.9% became legally operated shops. With illegal marijuana cash crops toping legal tobacco and cotton crops it only makes sense to legalize marijuana. Sounds like we have been missing the boat on untapped revenue doesn’t it. Colorado and Washington starting to look pretty smart?
Well unfortunately, we have to end our walk through the daisies. As long as the federal government holds that marijuana is an illegal substance then most banks will not do business with even a legal marijuana shop in these states. The state may legalize but, if the federal government does then doing business in marijuana can be very difficult not to mention dangerous. The biggest issue against the new entrepreneurs is what to do with all the money. Some banks work with these business under a “don’t ask, don’t tell” attitude. (Time Magazine) Business owners open bank accounts under different business identities or in some cases use the same business name but, they don’t fully enclose what the business deals with. Though the banks often know where the money comes as long as they can claim they didn’t know the accounts stay secure. Should the bank become publically aware or get...